Upfronts 2021: ABC: live blog

Live blog: ABC Upfronts are now being revealed virtually to media and production partners.

As this presentation proceeds you can just hit refresh for more info.

After a short wait things begin with  ABC stars saying “See you in 2021”

The Set is back, Frayed, Wakefield, Guy Pearce, Justine Clarke, Rachel Griffiths

Acknowledgement of country, elders past present and First Nations people.

Showreel includes Old People’s Home, Spicks & Specks.

A greeting from managing director David Anderson talking about how ABC has stood strong through bushfires and pandemic, and supporting producers. “ABC is the home of Australian stories,” he said. “In 2021 ABC will be the home of conversations.”

Over to Wil Anderson (no relation). “With the exception of Bunnings ABC is one of Australia’s most loved brands.”

Gruen is back.

Next is Rachel Griffiths in 3 shows next year… “the Annabel Crabb of Australian drama.”

New dramas on Sunday: Fires, Wakefield, The Newsreader and Here Out West.

Total Control is back plus Harrow and Jack Irish.

Anna Torv & Sam Reid star in 80s drama The Newsreader now shooting in Melbourne.

A showreel of Wakefield, shot in the Blue Mountains with with Rudi Dharmalingam, Mandy McElhinney, Geraldine Hakewill.

Now the Superwog boys introduce iview. The show is back in 2021.


Michael Carrington announces ABC Comedy is rebranded as ABC TV Plus from Jan 1 with comedy, religion, science, natural history documentaries, and the arts.

Heather Ewart introduces Back Roads for 2021, then Landline host Pip Courtney. Landline turns 30. New series Muster Dogs showcases kelpie dogs.

Craig Reucassel in his check shirt confirms Old People’s Home is back, and he will direct Christian Van Vuuren. Showreel includes David Gulpilil, Rachel Griffiths, Aaron Pedersen, Tim Ross, Franco Cozzo and Love on the Spectrum (breakout star Michael is back: “with any luck I might meet someone”).

Onto Arts, with Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra. Leigh Sales interviews artistic director Stephen Page.

Claudia Karvan to host a book series, Justine Clarke to present Going Country. More Rachel Griffiths in an Archibald prize series.

“No other network is as dedicated to arts,” says Sales.

Now Shaun Micallef, who jokes that the showreels are all ABC has to screen in 2021, and a reference to Eric Abetz at Senate Upfronts.

Charlie Pickering is back with The Weekly, and ABC is bringing back Tomorrow Tonight. Did not see that coming.

Sammy J is next with “artificial ratings” because people are switching on the news.

Hard Quiz is back plus Spicks & Specks with 10 new episodes (woo).

Kitty Flanagan is now on the set of her new sitcom, Fisk with Julia Zemiro, Marty Sheargold, Aaron Chen.

Nakkiah Lui to front new doomsday comedy Peppers. Frayed is back yay.

Now Erik Thomson onto his new chef comedy Aftertaste (I can’t keep up). Remy Hii features.

Bluey is back on the Australian Bluey Corporation (Wil Anderson gag).

New kid’s series The Wonder Gang. Play School is back. New Hardball, Itch, new series Pace Nova, Mikki vs the World.

Now onto News with Jeremy Hernandez and Hamish Macdonald.

News Breakfast, 7:30, Insiders, Australian Story are back. Four Corners turns 60.

Q&A moves to 8:30 Thursdays with Foreign Correspondent & Back Roads at 8pm.

Wil Anderson: “I can’t wait to see you all in 2021 unless my COVID test comes back ABC positive.”

That’s it. Standby for full slate in a separate story.

This post Updates.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.